Jeffrey A. Crooks
Other affiliations: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, San Diego State University
Bio: Jeffrey A. Crooks is an academic researcher from Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. The author has contributed to research in topics: Salt marsh & Introduced species. The author has an hindex of 23, co-authored 42 publications receiving 4399 citations. Previous affiliations of Jeffrey A. Crooks include Scripps Institution of Oceanography & University of California, San Diego.
TL;DR: Recognition of engineering as a major means by which invasive species affect ecosystems provides a unifying theme for invasion biology and offers a chance to consider more fully the general role of species in ecosystems.
Abstract: Invasions by exotic species represent both threats to ecosystems as well as opportunities to learn more about them. Among the invaders that will have the largest impacts are those that directly modify ecosystems and thus have cascading effects for resident biota. Exotics can affect ecosystems by altering system-level flows, availability, or quality of nutrients, food, and physical resources (e.g. living space, water, heat or light). The invader-mediated control of physical resources, typically achieved through the modification of habitats, has received limited attention in invasion biology. This reflects a general trend in ecology, and only recently has the concept of ecosystem engineering been developed to account for the role of species that shape habitats. Plants and animals in terrestrial and aquatic systems can both create and destroy structure. When introduced into ecosystems, these exotic engineers cause physical state changes with effects that ramify throughout the system. Although the consequences of these modifications are varied and complex, insight gained from general ecological principles offers an opportunity to predict what invaders will do upon their integration into systems. Examples from the literature suggest that introduced ecosystem engineers that increase habitat complexity or heterogeneity tend to cause abundances and/or species richness to rise, while those that decrease complexity tend to have the reverse effect. In assessing such patterns, however, it is critical to also consider spatial scales and the life habits of resident organisms. In addition to providing predictive power, recognition of engineering as a major means by which invasive species affect ecosystems provides a unifying theme for invasion biology and offers a chance to consider more fully the general role of species in ecosystems.
TL;DR: This work focuses on how temporal, spatial and organizational scales usefully inform the roles played by ecosystem engineers and their incorporation into broader ecological contexts.
Abstract: The ecosystem engineering concept focuses on how organisms physically change the abiotic environment and how this feeds back to the biota. While the concept was formally introduced a little more than 10 years ago, the underpinning of the concept can be traced back to more than a century to the early work of Darwin. The formal application of the idea is yielding new insights into the role of species in ecosystems and many other areas of basic and applied ecology. Here we focus on how temporal, spatial and organizational scales usefully inform the roles played by ecosystem engineers and their incorporation into broader ecological contexts. Two particular, distinguishing features of ecosystem engineers are that they affect the physical space in which other species live and their direct effects can last longer than the lifetime of the organism – engineering can in essence outlive the engineer. Together, these factors identify critical considerations that need to be included in models, experimental and observational work. The ecosystem engineering concept holds particular promise in the area of ecological applications, where influence over abiotic variables and their consequent effects on biotic communities may facilitate ecological restoration and counterbalance anthropogenic influences.
TL;DR: A conceptual framework is presented that shows how consideration of ecosystem engineers can be used to assess the likelihood of restoration of a system to a desired state, the type of changes necessary for successful restoration and how restoration efforts can be most effectively partitioned between direct human intervention and natural ecosystem engineers.
Abstract: Ecosystem engineers affect other organisms by creating, modifying, maintaining or destroying habitats. Despite widespread recognition of these often important effects, the ecosystem engineering concept has yet to be widely used in ecological applications. Here, we present a conceptual framework that shows how consideration of ecosystem engineers can be used to assess the likelihood of restoration of a system to a desired state, the type of changes necessary for successful restoration and how restoration efforts can be most effectively partitioned between direct human intervention and natural ecosystem engineers.
01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: Policy makers should understand that good surveillance and monitoring are essential, and that extirpation should be early and vigorous, for the sake of biodiversity losses caused by invasive species.
26 May 1999
TL;DR: In this article, three categories of lags in population explosion can be recognized: inherent lags caused by the nature of population growth and range expansion; prolonged lags that may be caused by environmental factors related to changes (improvements) in ecological conditions that favor an alien; and genetic factors related with the relative lack of fitness of the alien in a novel environment.
Abstract: Biodiversity losses caused by invasive species may soon surpass the damage done by habitat destruction and fragmentation. Some invaders explode quickly; others have a long "lag" period. Three categories of lags in population explosions can be recognized: (1) inherent lags caused by the nature of population growth and range expansion; and prolonged lags that may be caused by (2) environmental factors related to changes (improvements) in ecological conditions that favor an alien; and (3) genetic factors related to the relative lack of fitness of the alien in a novel environment. The likelihood of overcoming a genetic lag (fitness deficit) is proportional to the population size of the alien; there is a positive feedback between population size and the rates of genetic adaptation. Some principles regarding lags include: (1) determining whether a given lag is prolonged or not is often di f f icul t given lack of data, and can be confounded by lags in the detection of invasive species; (2) past performance of an exotic is a poor predictor of potential population growth, range expansion, and ecological impact; (3) containment can end suddenly and disastrously for both ecological and genetic reasons; and (4) the larger the size of the alien colony, the more likely it will eventually become invasive. Policy makers should understand that good surveillance and monitoring are essential, and that extirpation should be early and vigorous.
TL;DR: Given their current scale, biotic invasions have taken their place alongside human-driven atmospheric and oceanic alterations as major agents of global change and left unchecked, they will influence these other forces in profound but still unpredictable ways.
Abstract: Biotic invaders are species that establish a new range in which they proliferate, spread, and persist to the detriment of the environment. They are the most important ecological outcomes from the unprecedented alterations in the distribution of the earth's biota brought about largely through human transport and commerce. In a world without borders, few if any areas remain sheltered from these im- migrations. The fate of immigrants is decidedly mixed. Few survive the hazards of chronic and stochastic forces, and only a small fraction become naturalized. In turn, some naturalized species do become invasive. There are several potential reasons why some immigrant species prosper: some escape from the constraints of their native predators or parasites; others are aided by human-caused disturbance that disrupts native communities. Ironically, many biotic invasions are apparently facilitated by cultivation and husbandry, unintentional actions that foster immigrant populations until they are self-perpetuating and uncontrollable. Whatever the cause, biotic invaders can in many cases inflict enormous environmental damage: (1) Animal invaders can cause extinctions of vulnerable native species through predation, grazing, competition, and habitat alteration. (2) Plant invaders can completely alter the fire regime, nutrient cycling, hydrology, and energy budgets in a native ecosystem and can greatly diminish the abundance or survival of native species. (3) In agriculture, the principal pests of temperate crops are nonindigenous, and the combined expenses of pest control and crop losses constitute an onerous "tax" on food, fiber, and forage production. (4) The global cost of virulent plant and animal diseases caused by parasites transported to new ranges and presented with susceptible new hosts is currently incalculable. Identifying future invaders and taking effective steps to prevent their dispersal and establishment con- stitutes an enormous challenge to both conservation and international commerce. Detection and management when exclusion fails have proved daunting for varied reasons: (1) Efforts to identify general attributes of future invaders have often been inconclusive. (2) Predicting susceptible locales for future invasions seems even more problematic, given the enormous differences in the rates of arrival among potential invaders. (3) Eradication of an established invader is rare, and control efforts vary enormously in their efficacy. Successful control, however, depends more on commitment and continuing diligence than on the efficacy of specific tools themselves. (4) Control of biotic invasions is most effective when it employs a long-term, ecosystem- wide strategy rather than a tactical approach focused on battling individual invaders. (5) Prevention of invasions is much less costly than post-entry control. Revamping national and international quarantine laws by adopting a "guilty until proven innocent" approach would be a productive first step. Failure to address the issue of biotic invasions could effectively result in severe global consequences, including wholesale loss of agricultural, forestry, and fishery resources in some regions, disruption of the ecological processes that supply natural services on which human enterprise depends, and the creation of homogeneous, impoverished ecosystems composed of cosmopolitan species. Given their current scale, biotic invasions have taken their place alongside human-driven atmospheric and oceanic alterations as major agents of global change. Left unchecked, they will influence these other forces in profound but still unpredictable ways.
University of Tennessee1, Centre national de la recherche scientifique2, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources3, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences4, Missouri Botanical Garden5, University of Paris-Sud6, University of Girona7, Institut national de la recherche agronomique8, Charles University in Prague9, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic10, University of Minho11, University of Porto12, Paul Sabatier University13, Spanish National Research Council14
TL;DR: Recent progress in understanding invasion impacts and management is highlighted, and the challenges that the discipline faces in its science and interactions with society are discussed.
Abstract: Study of the impacts of biological invasions, a pervasive component of global change, has generated remarkable understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of the spread of introduced populations. The growing field of invasion science, poised at a crossroads where ecology, social sciences, resource management, and public perception meet, is increasingly exposed to critical scrutiny from several perspectives. Although the rate of biological invasions, elucidation of their consequences, and knowledge about mitigation are growing rapidly, the very need for invasion science is disputed. Here, we highlight recent progress in understanding invasion impacts and management, and discuss the challenges that the discipline faces in its science and interactions with society.
Macaulay Institute1, King Juan Carlos University2, University of Montana3, York University4, University of Concepción5, University of Tübingen6, University of Aberdeen7, Duke University8, Institut national de la recherche agronomique9, Spanish National Research Council10, Umeå University11, University of Potsdam12
TL;DR: There is substantial scope for exploring indirect facilitative effects in plant communities, including their impacts on diversity and evolution, and future studies should connect the degree of non-transitivity in plant competitive networks to community diversity and facilitative promotion of species coexistence.
Abstract: Summary 1 Once neglected, the role of facilitative interactions in plant communities has received considerable attention in the last two decades, and is now widely recognized It is timely to consider the progress made by research in this field 2 We review the development of plant facilitation research, focusing on the history of the field, the relationship between plant‐plant interactions and environmental severity gradients, and attempts to integrate facilitation into mainstream ecological theory We then consider future directions for facilitation research 3 With respect to our fundamental understanding of plant facilitation, clarification of the relationship between interactions and environmental gradients is central for further progress, and necessitates the design and implementation of experiments that move beyond the clear limitations of previous studies 4 There is substantial scope for exploring indirect facilitative effects in plant communities, including their impacts on diversity and evolution, and future studies should connect the degree of non-transitivity in plant competitive networks to community diversity and facilitative promotion of species coexistence, and explore how the role of indirect facilitation varies with environmental severity 5 Certain ecological modelling approaches (eg individual-based modelling), although thus far largely neglected, provide highly useful tools for exploring these fundamental processes 6 Evolutionary responses might result from facilitative interactions, and consideration of facilitation might lead to re-assessment of the evolution of plant growth forms
TL;DR: For a few species, recent molecular evidence suggests ongoing propagule pressure aids an invasion to spread by introducing genetic variation adaptive for new areas and habitats.
Abstract: Although most studies of factors contributing to successful establishment and spread of non-native species have focused on species traits and characteristics (both biotic and abiotic), increasing empirical and statistical evidence implicates propagule pressure—propagule sizes, propagule numbers, and temporal and spatial patterns of propagule arrival—as important in both facets of invasion. Increasing propagule size enhances establishment probability primarily by lessening effects of demographic stochasticity, whereas propagule number acts primarily by diminishing impacts of environmental stochasticity. A continuing rain of propagules, particularly from a variety of sources, may erase or vitiate the expected genetic bottleneck for invasions initiated by few individuals (as most are), thereby enhancing likelihood of survival. For a few species, recent molecular evidence suggests ongoing propagule pressure aids an invasion to spread by introducing genetic variation adaptive for new areas and habitats. This p...
TL;DR: Drawing from over 350 databases and other sources, information is synthesized on 329 marine invasive species, including their distribution, impacts on biodiversity, and introduction pathways, to provide a framework to highlight the invasive taxa that are most threatening and prioritize the invasion pathways that pose the greatest threat.
Abstract: Although invasive species are widely recognized as a major threat to marine biodiversity, there has been no quantitative global assessment of their impacts and routes of introduction. Here, we report initial results from the first such global assessment. Drawing from over 350 databases and other sources, we synthesized information on 329 marine invasive species, including their distribution, impacts on biodiversity, and introduction pathways. Initial analyses show that only 16% of marine ecoregions have no reported marine invasions, and even that figure may be inflated due to under-reporting. International shipping, followed by aquaculture, represent the major means of introduction. Our geographically referenced and publicly available database provides a framework that can be used to highlight the invasive taxa that are most threatening, as well as to prioritize the invasion pathways that pose the greatest threat.